tv The Late Show With Stephen Colbert CBS February 24, 2016 11:35pm-12:37am PST
"the late show,"" i'm stephen colbert. i don't think i have to ask-- how is everybody feeling tonight? ( cheers and applause ) i'm so happy to hear that. we were talking about this before the show. there's so much stress in the world right now, what with the election, and the strife abroad. so when i feel overwhelmed by everything, like i do right now, i do this one thing-- and we talked about it the other night on the show with my good friend casey affleck. i like to go on my computer and get the live feed from the international space station. in fact, if you watched my live super bowl show, you saw me check in with astronaut scott kelly, who has been up there for almost a year. i mean a year. i'm not even sure if he knows what a quesalupa is. just like the people who eat it. nodno idea. well, the space station also has
stream online in hd 24/7. i like to look at it to calm me down. it shows one majestic sight after another, like the eastern seaboard all lit up at night, the flickering lights of a thunderstorm from above, or an awe-inspiring 15 sunrises a day. which is not only beautiful but also explains why there are no vampire astronauts. ( laughter ) think about it. that's a chin stroker. imagine. imagine how peaceful it is up there, to spend all day floating in serenity. so let's just take a minute right hire and check in with the astronauts, see what's going on up there. ( laughter ) okay, i'm not sure what's happening up there. either someone didn't pack a razor, or that's scott kelly in a gorilla suit, which is really just a safety precaution for astronauts. because if charlton heston had access to gorilla suit technology, the "planet of the
ending. that's actual feed from the space station the last 24 hours. bam here on earth, we have a great show for you tonight. >> oh, my god! ( cheers and applause ) oh, my god! >> stephen: i didn't realize we had the budget for that kind of technology. as i was saying, we have a great show for you tonight. star of the new film "backtrack," adrien brody is here, ladies and gentlemen.
from the "walking dead," danai gurira is here ladies and gentlemen. and here to explain the recent discovery of gravitational waves, theoretical physicist brian greene will be joining us. ( cheers and applause ) oh, that right there is the sound of jon batiste and stay human. say hi, everybody! >> help! you gotta hide me? >> stephen: just go over there behind that wall. >> thank you, thank you. >> stephen: go right over there. >> thank you! ( laughter ) all right, the band is about to light "the late show" fuse" fuse but before they do-- he's right over there. >> you betrayed me!
( cheers and applause ) >> stephen: he's going to be fine. as i was saying, the band is about to kick things off, but before they do, one more thing-- a new online dating site promises to connect bernie sanders supporters to each other. users can swipe "left" or "far left." >> tonight, stephen welcomes adrian brody. "walking dead" star danai gurira. and physicist brian greene. featuring jon batiste and stay
and now it's time for "the late show with stephen colbert"! ( cheers and applause ) >> stephen: sound lovely, sound lovely. how about that band, everybody? now, jon, we have-- you have somebody new joining the band this week. patrick, right. patrick, you're joining us. say hi to patrick, everybody. ( cheers and applause ) patrick, what is-- what is that thing you're playing? >> this thing is called an e-wi 4,000 s. >> stephen: that looks like something the cantina band would play in "star wars." what does it do?
give me a taste, give me a taste. >> stephen: what! ( cheers and applause ) >> stephen: you got the devil in your horn. well, thank you, patrick. thank you for being here. pat trick, everybody. ( cheers and applause ) well, folks, there are 258 more shopping days until the election and i cannot find a candidate who fits me. it's all this primary weight i've gained, i guess. this is the road to the white house! ( cheers and applause ) >> we're dying! we're dying!
pro-tip: if you really want to experience that graphic, smoke an e-wi and put on side two of pink floyd's "dark side of the moon." it matches up perfectly. , of course, the big political story right now, last night the g.o.p. held their neftd caucus, and the people of vegas did who they do best they pulled the lever and risked absolutely everything. and when it was over, it came up orange, orange, orange! because donald trump won a huge victory, taking every las vegas demographic: elvis impersonators, white tiger handlers, even master illusionists. wait waite! wait! where did he go? no! yay! yay! how did you-- how!
and here's the real magic: trump got more votes than ted cruz and marco rubio combined. so those two could not have beaten him even with the classic dirty trick known as large trench coat. >> we won with evangelicals. we won with young. we won with old, we won with highly educated. we won with poorly educated! i love the poorly educated! ( laughter ) >> stephen: i bet you do. the point is, donald trump is now the likely republican nominee, with a real shot at being the next president, and i'm not sure if i'm horrified or entertained. it's like watching one of those nature documentaries where the python unhinges its jaw and slowly swallows the capybara, and then becomes president of
( applause ) you-- you--. ( cheers and applause ) but now, trump winning all these primaries has caused the establishment republicans to realize that trump is winning all these primaries. >> the establishment of the republican party is waking up to the fact that within a couple of weeks, donald trump could be unstoppable, fully in control, and the republican nominee. >> all donald trump needs to be the republican nominee is for nothing to change. >> it may be too little, too late. they waited too long. and it's almost as though, with bush's withdrawal, they woke up, and they realized, "my god. trump is almost the nominee." >> stephen: yes, like many other las vegas visitors, the g.o.p. woke up this morning with a raging hangover, wondering what the hell happened last night. ( laughter ) ( applause )
shhh. shhh. ben carson is sleeping. shhh. wait, where did they go? ( applause ) ( laughter ) this billionaire having his way with the election is shocking and unthinkable, to the billionaires who have their way with our elections. so they've formed an anti-trump superpac, which has already spent more than $3.5 million on negative ads, much of the cash coming from the family that owns the chicago cubs. and we all know the cubs are synonymous with winning. ( laughter ) ( applause ) get them next year! get them next year! but establishment republicans aren't just relying on money. they're also relying on marco rubio, a man who doesn't mind telling you he was not your first choice. >> i wasn't their first choice, or in some case of some of these folks, i wasn't even their second choice.
but now they realize this is what the race is. these are the finalists. we're running out of time. this is no time for patience. people have now realized, "look, all right, he wasn't our first choice, but now he's our best choice." >> stephen: he's just saying the election is not getting any younger, and america needs to settle. he might not be the president of your dreams, but you'll learn to love him. ( laughter ) it's all summed up in his powerful new campaign slogan, "marco rubio. oh, you're such a catch? ( cheers and applause )
adrien brody. bring it. how did you do that you didn't even move your hand?! it's all in the wrist schwartzy... alright, another game. alexa, what time is it? it's 5:43pm. i've got a table reading at 6:00... alexa, how's the traffic? the fastest route is 45 minutes to downtown. can we take the bike?! c'mon schwartzy! jason... get in the side-car.
alright, what do you think boys? we could do tacos. we could do some thai. ooo... how 'bout sushi, eh? [weird dog moan/squeak] why not? [dog yawning/squeaking] no, we're not, we're not having barbecue... again. [quiet dog groan] why? because you're on four legs, and i'm on two... and i'm driving. that's why. [dog whine]
who's pulling the string? who is it that you don't want to see, peter? >> what? >> who is it in that window? please welcome adrien brody. ( cheers and applause ) >> nice, nice, nice. stephen is the one hois pulling the strings. >> stephen: that's right, that's right. thank you for being here. >> thank you. it's a pleasure. >> stephen: you exude art. >> oh, really? >> stephen: you really do. right now-- >> nobody said that to me before. >> stephen: if you weren't an actor, you'd be like a musketeer or something. ( laughter ) you've got such a debonair look going on tonight.
that's a scarf you made into a tie. it is! >> i did, actually. i didn't have a tie. i was thinking what could i wear tonight? i said this this do. >> stephen: you make it work, damn it. >> you would make that work. it basically looks the same. if you didn't point it out. >> stephen: wait, do we look the same? no, we do not look the same. no. no. one of us is cast as zoro, and it ain't me, buddy. >> it ain't me, either. >> stephen: totally. you totally could. >> dalai, as zoro. >> stephen: rhinoceros. fantastic. it's natural for you to play an artist, because you're an artist yourself. people know you as the oscar-winning actor from the you're a painter. here. >> you do. art. one. joint, i think. >> that's a mushroom cheese burg
>> stephen: you've had showings. do you sell your stuff? >> yeah, i sell some work. i mean the beauty of it is it affords me-- not affords me monetarily. affords me the creative autonomy they strive for, and-- and with regards to being artistic and creative, i think everything that we do should have a certain degree of artistry in it. like, everything that you do is your art, right? and as you-- as you entertain people regularly, it's all-- it's all art. >> stephen: we do our best. >> well -- >> we do our best. >> as do i. as do i. ( applause ) that's all we can do. >> stephen: i also attempt to sell a fair amount of bud light and oldsmobiles. >> you can turn that into art as well. >> stephen: your dad's an artist, too, right? >> my dad's the real talent. >> stephen: is there a competitiveness there? >> no, because he's not competitive. he's, like, the most supportive, wonderful human being. >> stephen: how about you?
>> i'm very competitive. but i don't need to compete. he's definitely the more talented one. my dad-- i grew up with forgeries of great masters of renaissance painters on my wall. >> stephen: is that how he put you through school, forgeries? that's a good story! that's a good story. >> i wish he did. >> stephen: that would be nice. >> i'd go for that. >> stephen: that would be a good part for you to play. you could play your own dad. looking like that, i'd see that movie. >> that would be a surreal movie. >> stephen: it would. speak of surreal movies, this movie, "backtrack," you play a therapist-- i hope i'm not giving anything away-- who suspects that his clients-- stop me if i'm giving anything away-- might be ghosts? >> yes. >> stephen: that's the point of departure for the film. that's where we start. >> yes. >> stephen: do you believe in ghosts? >> yes. >> stephen: have you ever seen a ghost? >> i don't know if we see them, but i think i've-- i've encountered the vibe. ( laughter )
i feel like-- they're more of a vibe than an actually, "that's a ghost." >> stephen: you encountered the vibe. you're describe a jazz ghost if you're encountering the vibe. >> my ghosts play those smoke instruments like the e-wi. >> stephen: you play that thing long enough, you will see all kinds of things. >> we've got a few of those up at the house, so we see goaftz all day. >> stephen: do you play an instrument? >> i do. i sequence music. >> stephen, of course, you played in the "pianist. want. >> i learned to play for that. >> stephen: you did not play before that part! get out of town! >> i can't read music. >> stephen: you are the best faker ever! honest to god! >> i'm a method faker. >> stephen: i know that's what acting is. i know acting is just like pro faking. kind of, right? >> you have to believe-- if you can-- it's not really faking it. if you can believe and if you can do enough-- i'll tell you the secret. >> stephen: tell me the secret. >> that's what all that research is.
>> you believe, and that's where the research comes in. that's where if you devote enough time to it, whereas i didn't-- i didn't read music, but i spent enough time isolated and playing piano that i learned to play a good portion of chopan, and i was able to do that, and then it gave me the understanding, and the understanding, the connection to the music. and then i'm able to believe myself as that person. >> stephen: have you ever done enough research as an actor for a part where you've really done your craft and gotten yourself into the mind of that person and what they did for a living, and gone, "oh, i've wasted my life. i should have done this?" ( laughter ) do you know what i mean? "i should have done this." >> i tortured myself many times. >> stephen: have you, really? >> yeah. some people are just great act and they don't coall that work. they're great fakeers, but i can't fake-- i can't do that. >> stephen: you have to do-- >> i have to kind of get to a place where-- if i don't feel like i believe it, then why should i expect you to believe it, right?
nice. i do enormous amounts of research before every show. >> you do. >> stephen: yeah. >> i'm sure you have a team of people that help you. >> stephen: i do it all by myself, all by myself. >> you're a great actor. >> stephen: thank you, thank you very much, thank you very much. you're also-- you're also known-- you've gotten into social media recently. you became a hit a few years ago with something called "brody quest." you had nothing to do with it. let's show the people-- >> how do you know i had nothing to do with it. >> stephen: did you have anything to do with what i'm about to show the people. >> no you assumed. >> stephen: i did my research into the character that knew about you. show the people what we're talking about, jim. now, believe it or not-- >> i need that -- >> believe it or not, there is 10 hours of this on youtube. ( laughter ) it's absolutely mesmerizing. you joined in-- i joined in yourself-- you joined in yourself into the world of social media. last year you took this picture
there. okay. then the world helped you by giving yourself your own dog's body behind you over here. and then you got turned into animorphs. do you enjoy-- do you enjoy seeing yourself manipulated and turned into a meme online? >> if that's the extent of the manipulation, i enjoy it, yeah. you know, it's -- >> not so much the fan fiction of you having a romantic relationship with a predator? >> is that out there? >> stephen: it will be tomorrow. >> definitely, definitely. ( laughter ) now, that would have been the sequel i wanted to see, right? >> stephen: well, how much-- how much research did you do into killing aliens for "the predator?" how deeply did you have to get into that? >> you do military training. you have to have an understanding and be proficient with a weapon. i was operating an aa-12. >> stephen: you have an answer for everything. >> no oop it's a necessity. i can't operate a fully automatic machine gun if i have never used it and cannot do it
>> and you got jacked for it. you lost all the wait waet for things like "the piano." and you got jacked for that. are you mid-jacked. >> i'm definitely not in mid-jack mode. i'm in artist mode. i'm, like, the starving artist. i'm hope painting. i took much of this year off from acting, actually, to paint. and i've been home painting and forgetting to eat, and very, very sincerely inspired by that. >> stephen: you sound like you have a wonderful life? >> it's not bad. >> stephen: lovely. well, thank you for sharing with us. >> thank you. >> stephen: for eight minutes out here. thank you, adrien. lovely to have you. "backtrack" is in theaters and on demand this friday.
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lovely, lovely. that is absolutely stunning dress. >> thank you! >> stephen: how beautiful. >> thank you so much. being here. >> thank you for having me. >> stephen: you have a very interesting c.v.. you were born in iowa but then >> indeed. >> stephen: you were having to survive a zombie apocalypse would you rather do it in iowa or zim zimbabwe? >> that's a good question. where i was born was such a tiny town, i think that might be my better bet, honestly. >> stephen: really? >> yeah, a lot of corn. i could hide in the corn stalks, you know,. >> stephen: that's true. >> i'd probably fare pretty well. >> stephen: you could hide in a corn silo and there are no doors and windows. >> that is true. >> stephen: after having done the so for so many years, do you run through the fantasy what is the ultimate zombie-proof shelter to be in? >> it's an island, right! >> stephen: yeah, but they
they can't go underwater. you get there, you clear it out. and you chill. i figure out how to sustain yourself through agricultural means. >> stephen: i have to write this down. >> write it down, man! >> stephen: i have an expert right here. obviously, you'd want one of these, too. you would want that sword right there. >> yeah, yeah, yeah. she's pretty. >> stephen: where did you get your catana skills? >> i had to obtain them. and it's a constant journey, actually, when i got the job. >> stephen: do you ever wish huone of those just walking around in new york? >> you know, there are those moments. but, you know, you just can't use it legally, unfortunately. that's the tricky part. >> stephen: they frown on that. >> get past that. >> stephen: the thing about the show is that as people have said, and i think you yourself have said, it's not really about a zombie apocalypse. it's about the human condition with a backdrop of a zombie apocalypse. >> yeah, yeah.
zombie apocalypses apocalypses are such popular backdrops now? what do you think that says about the human condition that the idea that your friends could towrn you at any moment and you have to kill them slike, a popular thing in our culture right now? >> you know, there's a way you could go on about the fact that the term "zombie" and what it means sometimes has to do with societal conditioning. are we zombies at times. are we being conventional in how we respond to things? are we using our own minds. am i going too far with this. >> stephen: no, no, not at all. you're going just far enough. >> you're making me go in. you're make meeg go in! but the idea of seeing people actually lose their consciousness, their minds, but still functioning actually kind of like human beings i think parallels how we can function in society at times. maybe that is something sparking an idea in people's minds as they watch the show. >> stephen: you are blowing my mind? >> am i? yes! >> stephen: you are, you're blowing my mind. that's beautiful.
now who just started their senior thesis based on what you just said. you're a very impressive person, not only are you well-respected actor on a very popular show, but you also have two plays running in new york right now. you can "eclipsed" on broadway. and you have "familiar" at playwright's horizons. now, these-- how does it feel to have two plays running in new york at the same time? >> it's pretty surreal. i mean, i'm pretty overwhelmed. last night i was in that play, i was in "eclipsed," and "familiar" was running three streets away at the same time, and it just-- it hit me how special this moment is. >> stephen: when friends come into town and say, "we'd love to see something, what should is be?" which one do you tell them to go see gii tell them they are both my children you. >> stephen: love them equally. >> i love them equally so please try to see both. >> stephen: this one, actually, is about people from zimbabwe living in the united states. >> yes. >> stephen: in this case minnesota, right?
>> stephen: is it in any way based on your experience as a child and your family. >> it's deeply inspired by my family. i was at a wedding some years ago, and i couldn't-- i couldn't not do it. i was like eoh, my god. my people, my people. i gotta write about it. >> stephen: mao do they feel about it, though? cothey see the play and say, "hey, i said that to you two years ago." do they see themselves in this? >> they haven't seen it yet. only my sister has seen it. my parents and the rest of my family will see it this time around. the question is still outstand agz to how they will respond. i'm hoping they will just enjoy the play and feel flattered? ( laughter ) that they're being reflected? >> stephen: uh-huh. how come my character gets all the laughs. >> stephen: right. >> "eclipsed" is about women in liberia during the liberian civil war during the rule of charles taylor.
>> stephen: a very serious subject. it's an all-african american production? not only the cast but, like, also the people mounting the production. that's a very significant thing to do on the great white way. >> right! yes spp splashing a little color on the great white way. the beauty of this is it came together-- five women are the cast and they are all african, actually. one is haitian, and the rest are from the continent. and then there's an african, swrib bawb wayan playwright and a female director. that's the unusual director. there have been plays in the past with all-women casts and playwrights but not with a director as well so the combination of lisa tommy helming it and myself writing it, that's kind of thing that's really special about it. >> stephen: when this is eventually made into a hollywood movie, what white man would you like to play the lead. >> you. >> stephen: me! it's a deal!
awesome "p." >> her new plays "eclipsed" and "familiar" are now playing on and off broadway. danai gurira, everybody! we'll be right back. [alarm bell ringing] oh no, the car! told ya somebody should've waited in the car. it says there's a black car three minutes away! i'm not taking one of those. that one! they gave authorities the slip, in a prius. now the four most-wanted men in the world are stealing our hearts. is that us? i think that's us! public support is at a fever pitch. what started as an amateur heist is now a global phenomenon. one does have to wonder, how long can this chase go on? look, we're trending! let me see that. we're famous! toyota. let's go places. pain from your day can haunt you at night, don't let it. advil pm gives you the healing sleep you need, helping you fall asleep and stay asleep so your body can heal as you rest.
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everybody. earlier in the program, i told you about donald trump caucus punching his rivals in nevada, but did you know democrats are running for president, too? and last night, bernie sanders and hillary clinton squared off in a cnn town hall in south carolina, and the big winner was me. because moderator chris cuomo played hillary a clip from my show last week, where i gave her the business for not giving a straight answer to the simple question "will you ever lie?" >> you're asking me to say, have i ever? i don't believe i ever have. i don't believe i ever have. i don't believe i ever will. i'm going to do the best i can to level with the american people. >> stephen: how can you be this bad at it? ( laughter ) ( applause ) just say no. just say no. you're running for president of the united states.
of campaign questions. you just say no and then touch all the bases. >> funny guy, serious topic. is that a question that you'd like another shot at answering? >> i'll just say, no! ( laughter ) ( applause ) >> stephen: you're welcome! ( cheers and applause ) you're welcome! i believe i have just coined the phrase, "just say no." ( laughter ) and you know what, i am calling it! hillary clinton will win south carolina because of my advice, with a slight assist from her 28-point lead. but not lying wasn't the only promise hillary clinton made to the american people last night. let's take a slightly longer look at her taking a look at me taking a look at her. >> is that a question that you'd like another shot at answering? >> i'll just say, no! ( applause ) >> you'll make mr. colbert very happy. >> good, good, i want to make him happy. >> stephen: oh, do you,
well, well, i just happen to have a list of things you could do to bring me great joy. let's see if i can get through them. okay. laugh first, first. ( cheers and applause ) if you're elected president, i want to be an ambassador. and i mean to one of the good countries. i'm talking about japan, or france or narnia. okay. get me some turkish delight. and you know the thanksgiving turkey pardon? well, it would make me happy if you also pardon the groundhog day groundhog. yes, they're delicious, but we shouldn't be eating them. finally, for the sake of my show, it would make me very happy if donald trump just keeps running for president forever. ( cheers and applause ) you can win. you can win. just let him keep talking. ( laughter ) secretary clinton, i know you'll
because you said you want to make me happy, and i recently heard that you never lie. ( cheers and applause ) we'll be right back with a science experiment from physicist brian greene. 3d touch on iphone 6s respondsto the pressure of your finger. so you can do a ton of stuff in a lot less time. like look at a site without going to it. or watch a video without opening it. you can do pretty much everything faster. shooting stuff. music stuff. couch shopping. shoe shopping. running. kind of. checking a flight from an email. i'm peeking my flight. i'm not peeking my flight. i'm peeking my...wait, i missed my flight. owl photos. desert photos. photos of... dolphins! a high-stepping man. pizza gifs. it's all faster with 3d touch on iphone 6s. i'll be right back. be good.text mom. boys have been really good today. send. let's get mark his own cell phone. nice. brad could use a new bike. send. [google] message. you decide.
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( band playing ) ( cheers and applause ) >> stephen: welcome back, everybody. my next guest is a professor of physics and mathematics at columbia university, a bestselling author, and an all-around smarty pants. he's here to tell us about the discovery of gravitational waves and why it's a huge deal. please welcome our friend, brian greene. good to have you here. you're codirector of columbia's institute for strings, cosmology, and astroparticle physics. >> yes. >> stephen: that's a pretty good pickup line. since last we were together, scientists detected gravitational waves. i understand this is something einstein predicted. >> yes. >> stephen: how long ago? >> 100 years ago this year, in 1916. this is a huge discovery, not
but opening a whole new way of exploring the universe. >> stephen: does he seem even smarter now than he used to seem? >> he's, like, so up there, that there is no getting smarter. it's like infunt, further north than the north pole. >> stephen: the scientists are still doing his homework from 100 years ago ( laughter ). >> yeah, he has given us an incredibly rich legacy that we have been pursuing, yeah, for 100 years. everything that i've done in my own career really has, in some sense, been trying to push forward on the path that he first blaze gld what is a gravitational wave, and why does it change everything? >> so air, gravitational wave is actually a ripple in the fabric of space. we know you throw a pebble into a pond, the water ripples. now, this is a ripple, but not with water. it's in space itself. >> stephen: you are blowing my mind again. ( laughter ) so what are we look at here?
in 1915, a year earlier, and the key idea is he found gravity comes from the warps and curves in the space. the sun warps the space and keeps the earth in orbit. >> stephen: like a bowling ball on a trampoline. >> trampoline, exactly right. what happened is, this is 1915. he diswnt just stop. he keeps going, and a year later he realizes if space is like a trampoline, then imagine kids running around on a trampoline. they're going to send ripples on the surface. so he says the same should be true of the fabric of space. if you've qot two rapidly orbiting stars, neutron stars or black holes, his math predicts that they will generate a steady march of ripples in the fabric of space. those are gravitational waves that he predicted mathematically. >> stephen: and now they have been detected. >> yes. >> stephen: what happened that allowed us to do that? >> yeah, so his math also shows, as we go on from here to the
a gravitational wave ripples by anything, it will stretch it and compress it. you see it happening-- >> stephen: like the earth. >> like the earth right here. >> stephen: because we're a part of the fabric of space time you and me and the earth is stretching and compressing, along with the rippling of space time. >> that's exactly right. the one thing, is this is exaggerate gld i hope so. >> a little bit. >> stephen: i hope so, i hope so. >> the ripples would actually cause the earth to stretch and compress by less than an atomic diameter. >> stephen: how do you-- how do you measure that? >> how do you measure that? >> stephen: yes. that's what i said? >> yeah. ( laughter ). >> yeah, that's what people-- thousands of scientists have been working on for 40, 50 years. this amazing team of researchers, ligo, laser interferometer gravitational wave observatory, just two weeks ago they announced the first detection of these gravitational waves using a spectacular piece of equipment. there are actually two of them, one in louisiana and the energy washington state. >> stephen: and i understand
>> lasers. in fact we slailgt model version of it here if you want to check it out. in this device here-- in fact if we bring the lights down, it will be easier to see. we have a laser, right here, that's sending out a beam that this device here splits into two. and you can see they go that direction toward the right, our right, and this upstage over here. >> stephen: at what point do i put on the pink floyd? >> let's do it now! >> stephen: another all right. >> so in the real experiment, it hits a mirror that's two and a half miles away. >> stephen: like a two-and-a-half-mile pipe or something? >> a two-and-a-half-mile evacuated pipe, exactly. when the laser bounces back it recombines, like commingles, and when they commingle they create a very interesting pattern. i don't know if you can see tright here. >> stephen: there it is.s. there is an idea of the pattern. >> you have bright areas. that's where the two beams are work together.
beams are cancelling each other out. and that interference pattern is absolutely key. now, let me just show you, so if you block one of these beams right here, you see how the interference pattern goes away. they're no longer commingling. if i release it, now you see that they are working together to create that pattern. >> stephen: all right. >> but the key thing is this pattern is highly dependent on the distance that the laser beam travels. so if a gravitational wave rolls by and stretches one distance relative to another -- >> even just the distance of, like, the-- not the diameter of an atom. >> that's right. that's why this is such an amazing piece of equipment, the real one, of course, that's out there. this is just a mod glel any movement in this beam makes that pattern change. >> obviously we can't do it here with the gravitational waves but we can try it, if you're up to to, an experiment with sound waves. >> >> stephen: just yell at it? >> we'll see if it shifts. >> stephen: science! science!
( cheers and applause ). >> stephen: so, what can we do? now that we know the gravitational waves are bending space time like this, how can it let us see the universe in a different way? >> you know light can be blocked, right? if i cover my face you don't see me any longer. >> stephen: that's very frightening. meas plooez don't do that. >> can't block gravity, which means gravity can go into places in the universe that light cannot penetrate. >> stephen: what! >> yeah. how do you block gravity? you always feels the earth's gravity no matter where you go. using the gravitational suffer fases we may be able to study how black holes combine and we may be able to study the big bang itself. >> stephen: the same way you can set off a bomb on one side of the earth are you can ease a seismograph to echo map the inside of the planet, can help us map things we can't see? >> that's exactly right. the device is only sensitive to waves the gravity.
>> stephen: wow. >> and in fact, you can actually in in some sense hear the gravitational waves. they vibrate at a frequency that if you turn it into sound, the human air can hear. >> stephen: so literally, these waves can be turned into sound. >> they can. and these are the most spectacular sounds from the standpoint of they herald a revolution in our understand, of the universe. >> stephen: another so i understand you brought one of these sounds with you. >> yeah, yeah, i did. >> stephen:s and this the sound of what? what are we listening to? >> this is the sound of two black holes colliding. >> stephen: this is actually a computer rendering of gravitational waves into sounds. >> this is a sim lairkz but the data agrees with the simulation. >> >> stephen: this is what it would sound like. >> this is what it would sound like. >> stephen: drum roll please. ( laughter )
what is that? >> big things come in little packages. those sounds are really us things about the universe that we have no other way of discerning. those kinds of sounds are the future of studying the cosmos. >> stephen: well, thank you for bringing us the future tonight. brian greene, what a pleasure. ( cheers and applause ) gravity waves. brian greene. science! science!
late show." tune in tomorrow when my guests will be tim daly, star of marvel's "jennifer jones," krysten ritter, and a musical performance by jason isbell. now stick around for james corden. good night! captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org ladies and gentlemen, all